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"How Spoiled Are We?"

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Imagine, tonight at dinner you have no leftovers. You glimpse at the clock, and notice that your spouse is going to return from work in an hour. Abruptly, you open your refrigerator door and browse through it. You glance at a few items, but you feel lazy, and you’re not in the mood of preparing a whole meal. Immediately, an idea pops into your head. You grab the phone, and order a pizza instead.

We, Americans, have so much but sometimes we forget about that. We look at other possibilities and opportunities available at the palm of our hands. For example, ordering a pizza when we have food but don’t feel like devouring it. Face the fact: Americans are spoiled. We complain at the slightest errors, fuss when we don’t get what we want, and sometimes we’re brimmed with sheer laziness.


In the U.S.A, we have a huge ease of access to everything; from simply shopping to buying gasoline. Also, we rely on an enormous variety of appliances and/or electronics such as washing machines, cell phones, computers, vehicles, stove, microwave, etc. According to Consumer Energy Center, the average American nearly does 400 loads of laundry each year! Imagine, pilgrims during the 18th century had to do laundry by hand with a washboard. How tough was that? Think about if they had to do that during winter, how cold would that be? Their hands were covered with frostbite, while ours are circulated with warmth and are anxious to see the laundry finished. Nowadays, we depend on too many things in our lives to support us with, while people in the past depended on the simple things that God gave them (plants, nature, coal, firewood, etc).



According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 30 million Americans are “poor”. In 2010, the poverty household income for four people was $22,314. Their definition of “poor” may be unlike what you are thinking. The “poor” people that they are describing have air conditioning, cable television, and many other modern technological appliances (or at least most of them). Technology had an ample blast, and impacted our society by massive amounts. If you don’t have the latest “thing”, you have the urge to buy it because everyone else has it.



“Poor” people, or low-income families in America, have many opportunities that other countries don’t have. They can be qualified for food stamps, have free education, financial assistance, rent assistance, educational money, unemployment benefits, health coverage, etc. A bulk of our tax money is spent to help these people. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), in 2010 our government spent $707 billion towards Social Security benefits. That was 20% of our federal tax dollars! A numerous about of money is also spent on health coverage. CBPP states that $732 billion was spent for three health insurance programs in 2010: Medicaid, Medicare, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Some people are ashamed that they are poor, but they never look at what they have and/or what they are offered with. They should keep in mind that they are lucky to be where they are, eat what they eat, and breathe the air they breathe today. I’m not implying that every poor person in the U.S. thinks this way, but most people do.

The government offers us so much, but sometimes we want more. If you think about it, many countries can’t get what we get. There are so many developing countries out there, and the rate of poor people is devastating. According to the World Bank, there are 98 developing countries around the world (“developing countries” are defined as low-income and lower-middle income economies). Orphans live on streets, begging, and clinging onto their lives, and other people have lost limbs and have no choice but to raise money which would take years.

Envision a poor person from a different country seeing our poverty level. They would probably see it as a blessing. If the foreigners were put in a home, even if it was a small, minuscule apartment, there would be a light in their eyes. They would play with the running water, switch the lights on and off, and run around in the room having a great time. If they had a career on minimum wage, they would work their hardest. At first, they probably wouldn’t think of buying designer brands, or grabbing hold of the latest device. They would probably use the money they earn wisely and on the things they actually need (food, clothes, etc). If Americans were placed in this situation, they would probably see the apartment as a dead end and would probably be hopeless because they would think that they don’t have enough. Sometimes we have to think of the less fortunate and be thankful for what we have.


There is a gigantic gap between the rich and poor in our country. There are people who make a millions of dollars per year and people who live off of minimum wage. For example, the CEO of Ford Motors keeps $54.5 million to himself every year! Are his employees getting enough? Is that fair? People are getting spoiled and greedy and we have to put a stop to that. We have to take a moment to breathe, get off the couch, and think about all the people out there. Donate money to charities, volunteer, and get out and inspire everyone around you. We can all make a difference by taking small steps and making a huge difference. We Americans have to create a legacy so future generations can follow what we left behind. All of us have to show what America really is, and what it can be.

Sources:
http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/appliances/washers.html
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1258
http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/what-is-poverty





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